Police Resumes Probe of Netanyahu Advisers Suspected of Harassing Key Witness

The four advisers are suspected of harassing key witness Shlomo Filber by placing loudspeakers outside his home, calling on him to retract his agreement to turn state’s evidence against the former prime minister

Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court in March
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court in MarchCredit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Netael Bandel
Netael Bandel

The Israel Police will resume their investigation of four advisers to former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who are suspected of harassing Shlomo Filber, the former Communications Ministry director general who turned state’s evidence in the ongoing criminal corruption case against Netanyahu.

Filber is in the middle of testifying in the case, which is being tried in Jerusalem District Court. The police plan to resume their investigation of the four advisers after Filber finishes his testimony. Meanwhile, the police asked the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to continue to hold the cellphones of the four advisers to Netanyahu, who was prime minister at the time of the alleged harassment, for another two months.

Lawyers for the suspects, Yonatan Urich, Ofer Golan, Yossi Shum and Israel Einhorn, have agreed to the request and the Tel Aviv court has approved it.

The four, two of whom – Urich and Golan – are still advisers to now-opposition leader Netanyahu, are suspected of being behind the parking of a vehicle with a loudspeaker system outside Filber’s home in 2019 calling on him to retract his agreement to turn state’s evidence. Filber, who was not home at the time of the incident, reported it to the police but didn’t file a formal complaint.

Netanyahu is on trial on three separate cases, including one in which he allegedly obtained favorable news coverage from the Walla news website in return for regulatory concessions to the Bezeq telecommunications company, which owned Walla at the time. Filber was the director general of the Communications Ministry when this occurred.

Two and a half years ago, the court approved a police request to carry out a “surgical” search of the advisers’ cellphones as part of their investigation of the alleged harassment of Filber. The phones were searched in the advisers’ presence with their consent, but without a search warrant and without informing them that they had the right to refuse. Screenshots from the phones were also taken.

The advisers asserted that the searches were illegal and that the evidence derived from them should be inadmissible. The investigation was suspended, but in January the Supreme Court ruled that the police were authorized to search the suspects’ phones and laptops without a warrant, paving the way for the continued investigation.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage